I wrote a post a while back about how I used Infinit Nutrition in races and it is one of the most read resources on the blog.
Then in my last race I changed what I did. So here is an updated post about what I’m doing now with Infinit.
Why did I change my method of using Infinit Nutrition?
There are 2 reasons I changed what I was doing.
I made a change because what I was doing didn’t work in Ironman Boulder. This is not because of Infinit not being a good nutrition source. My mixture of Infinit has stayed the same and it’s still the only thing I take in on the bike course.
That’s right – the only thing.
I also continue to believe that bike course nutrition is one of the most important components of an Ironman race. Get it right and you feel good on the run. Get it wrong and you feel like crap.
The blessing and the curse of Infinit is that it’s a one piece solution. Your hydration and calories are all in one place. This works like a charm for me with just one challenge. I tend to race in different climates than I train. I live in Miami and it’s almost always cooler and dryer where I’m going to race.
When it’s dryer, cooler or even just less humid I need less water. When the temperature increases through the day I need to increase my water throughout the race. In Boulder, I had a plan but it didn’t work well and it fell apart fast. I tell the story that I felt great, great, great, crappy, crappier, really really crappy. I didn’t want to repeat that.
Second reason was that “special needs” for Ironman Santa Rosa was sort of late in the course. In the past I picked up new bottles at “special needs.” This new method meant that I had all my nutrition on the bike from the start but I just needed water which is available about every 15 miles.
My focus in Santa Rosa was to give myself scheduled opportunities to assess my nutrition and hydration. I personally find this incredibly hard to do while I am actually riding my bike. I will feel fine while moving and then when I stop I realize I’m hot, I’m not sweating, I’m thirsty and so on. I stopped in Boulder but I didn’t stop long enough as it turned out. I also wasn’t really thinking to myself, “hey how do I feel?” I just stopped took a couple sips of water and then went on. By the end of the Boulder ride I was in bad shape, overheated and dehydrated. It’s bothered me for a whole year.
The new method of using Infinit Nutrition that works pretty well for Amy
In Santa Rosa I mixed one 1 hour bottle and 2 bottles that were mixed as 3 hour concentrates.
What the heck does that mean?
In the concentrate bottle I had 6 scoops of Infinit Nutrition powder and then filled the bottle with water. I had no intention of drinking the concentrate straight. Some people do that they can use the concentrate but I have learned from trial and error that if it’s too sweet I won’t drink it. Seriously after 5 hours I barely want to drink water. So it’s important that I can force down whatever my plan includes.
My plan was to ride for the first hour and then stop at water stops and mix a new bottle using cool water from the aid station. Drink water, check if I was sweating/overheating and go on.
To be honest this worked really well. I did lose a ton of time to the stops. Most people just grab water or Gatorade while they are moving. I was physically stopping at each one. Stopping getting water taking the top off mixing a new bottle. So a ton of time. To be honest because it was cool out I also went to the potty at the first several stops so I can’t totally blame my nutrition plan.
But I felt really good for the whole ride. This is the only 100+ mile bike ride where I haven’t had a foot cramp at any point in the ride. Also usually by the end of the race there are a million things driving me nuts and I was very calm at the end of this ride. The only thing was I had a bad headache from my helmet but I was aware enough to figure that out and that’s HUUUGE. Also in training I had been coming up about an hour short in calories in all my long ride. Even though I drink on my every 7 minute schedule I would finish the ride with a full bottle of fluid but I took in almost everything during the race. So that was really good.
Toward the end of the ride I did want to skip the last water station. I was like 12- 14 miles from the end. But then I reminded myself that I had done that in Boulder with a bad result. I felt fine as I zipped by the final station and then mile like 103 or so I felt like I was basically going to collapse. So I stopped and sure enough I was thirsty and the cool water felt amazing, I put water on my head and realized I was hot so I put some on my jersey too. So instead of the last miles being tortuous they were fabulous. Then shortly after a lady passed me and said let’s finish this strong and I went ahead and posted my fastest 10 miles as the final 10 miles which was fantastic. I came into transition feeling amazing and smiling.
Now, my method can definitely use improvement because as I mentioned I lost a ton of time stopping all over the place.
Obviously, Ironman Santa Rosa was a while ago. I have implemented this same method in my training rides since the race and it continues to work well. One drawback is that if you lose one of those concentrate bottles you are in trouble. But that’s always true.
What I’ve changed since Ironman Santa Rosa is that I have more than one bottle ready to go so that I’m not stopping every 15 miles. For example I have a 7 hour ride this Sunday. What I’ll do is mix 3 ready to go bottles. I may freeze one because it’s still really hot here. Then I mix one 4 hour concentrate bottle. When we stop I’ll remix the empty bottles with 1/4 concentrate and cold water that I buy wherever we are. Ta-dah. Fuel forever. lol.
Why not gels?
If gels work for you it’s fine. Now that I’ve taken some more courses on this stuff I can tell you that the reason I think it works so much better for me is because it’s suspended in water. You know that instruction on a gel packet that says take with 4-8 ounces of water? yup nobody does that, right. Because we’re on the go. But that’s the easiest and fastest way for your body to absorb those calories and stuff. So for me on the bike liquid nutrition works really well. There are other brands. Skratch, Hammer, Base and Tailwind all make nutrition mixes that people love. UCann makes a very low sugar option. I’ve tried all of those and personally this one works best for me. But nutrition really is personal try them and see what works for you.
I hope that this helps. The links in this post are affiliate links. That means that when you click them and go purchase your Infinit Nutrition I get a credit to my Infinit account. I use this credit to buy myself more Infinit. I go through this stuff like crazy so I appreciate the credits. Thank you for reading and I hope it’s helpful.
Update – a training mistake
I wrote this post and scheduled it to publish Monday. Sunday I rode 97 miles. Halfway I remixed my bottles but I overdiluted them. I took a three hour concentrate bottle and mixed it into 4 bottles. Luckily I figured it out in the first hour. I was like hmmm this doesn’t taste right at all. So, I supplemented with a gu I had brought along. Note: always have an extra gu just in case. And I got a bottle of coke along the way. Good on the fly training and I’m happy it happened in training and not in the race.